Friday iTunes iChing: Panspermia?

Alas, A Blog linked to this BBC report of a wacky space experiment:

Transformed into the size of bowler hat, [a rock] was then attached to the side of the European Space Agency’s Foton M3 mission, which launched from Kazakhstan last month.

Professor John Parnell, chair in geology and petroleum geology at Aberdeen, studied what effect the heat of re-entry from space had on the rock, along with Dr Stephen Bowden.

Heat from re-entry as a barrier to panspermia? I thought we’d already settled that one, when ultra-high-resolution magnetic measurements on Martian meteorite ALH84001 showed that the inside had never been heated above ambient surface temperatures. Not that I’m complaining about improvements on the natural experiment (this time there will be more organic matter in the rock), it just doesn’t strike me as revolutionary.

Oh well, it’s still a good topic for some mumbo-jumbo. Oracle, O Oracle, am I really a Martian?

  1. Covering: “The Sailor’s Wife/ The Lads Of Duns” – Alasdair Fraser & Natalie Haas, Fire & Grace
  2. Crossing: “G.D.’S – Pressed for Time” – Flook, Rubai
  3. Crown: “Closer to Your Heart” – Clannad, Macalla
  4. Root: “Monstro” – The Indecisives, Indestructible
  5. Past: “Together In Electric Dreams” – Lali Puna, Reproductions-Songs of the Hum
  6. Future: “Better Off” – Let’s Go Sailing

    Don’t get so excited
    You’re likely to hurt yourself.
    Your head looks disproportionate
    From pushing too hard to believe

  7. Questioner: “Gierran (Enchantment)” – Wimme Saari, Nordic Roots 2
  8. House: “Gus Jordan’s/Big Pat’s Reel/Sweeney’s Dream/Eddie Moloney’s” – Mary Bergin, Feadóga Stáin 2
  9. Inside: “Wind In The Hollow” – Walt Michael, Music For Hammered Dulcimer
  10. Outcome: “Ynglingen” – Hurdy Gurdy, Prototyp

Nope. No panspermia – at least, not from Mars, it’s always good to have a little wiggle room in these questions. Comments on the hat-sizes of panspermia’s various proponents will be left to the peanut gallery.


  1. Wren wrote:

    Hrm. If panspermia works, it would work in itty-bitty IDPs and micrometeorites, which are so small as to be unaffected by entry into Earth’s atmosphere.

  2. Lab Lemming wrote:

    I’m disappointed that they didn’t use Berea Sandstone as their experimental rock.

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